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Jedem Das Seine- To Each His Own

by de Gondi Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 04:15:58 AM EST

... let me to tell you what you would have seen and heard had you been with me on Thursday. It will not be pleasant listening. if you're at lunch or if you have no appetite to hear what Germans have done, now is a good time to switch off the radio. For I propose to tell you of Buchenwald. It's on a small hill about four miles outside Weimar and it was one of the largest concentration camps in Germany. And it was built to last.
E.R. Murrow

Today, January 27th, is the Day of Memory in Italy. On this day in 1945 the Red Army opened the gates of one of Hitler's concentration camps in the small Polish town of Oświęcim, now universally known by its German name, Auschwitz.

Promoted by Colman

On April 12th, 1945, E.R. Murrow ("Good Night and Good Luck") visited the camp of Buchenwald. Four days later he reported what he saw on the radio. To commemorate the Day of Memory la Repubblica has put up Murrow's historical broadcast. There is a brief introduction in Italian lasting a minute and a half, then eight minutes of pure radio.

May this day be the Universal Day of Memory.

To be crossposted at Booman by rom wyo.

this is the direct link.

stunning piece. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

by PeWi on Fri Jan 27th, 2006 at 10:41:34 PM EST
Thanks for the link!
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 03:27:30 AM EST
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Well, my Italian isn't that strong (barely existing, apart from Ciao) and I ended up on a Microsoft side first...
by PeWi on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 07:34:21 AM EST
Arbeit macht frei:
The entrance gate to Auschwitz reads "Work makes one free." The labor camps at Auschwitz used the slave labor of Jews, political prisoners, Roma(Gypsies). More than 1.5 million people were killed through gassing, starvation, sickness, and torture in Auschwitz, Nazi Germany's largest concentration camp.

Is not it ironic that on the biggest concentration camp(if we disregard GULAG in Siberia) there is a sign that the work frees the person. The NAZI ideology can be summurized in the difference between this
statement and the brutalities and attrocities that million people have undergone behind the gates of Auschwitz:

Although the theme about the Holocaust has been analyzed in every dimension after the World War II, I would like briefly to add the opinion that events and groups like  Die Kristallnacht,Die SS Einsaztgruppen,
Die Letzte Losung are better not to be discussed, but to be set as an alert of highest importance to the future generations.

I'm not ugly,but my beauty is a total creation.Hegel
by Chris on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 02:34:35 PM EST
"Arbeit macht frei" is the macabre phrase most people associate with concentration camps. I used the lesser known "Jedem das Seine" partially because of the historical broadcast of Murrow from Buchenwald. Other than that, it struck me because I am, as most people, familiar with the former motto.

It strikes me because of its cast-iron mockery of Justice. It does refer to an old Greek-Roman idea of Justice, "Justice renders to everyone his due." The basic tenant of Justice is that a person has an identity, is an individual, tried by laws common to "everyone." Yet it is Nazi-Fascism that made it a norm that certain humans did not exist as citizens. They had no legal status. They were "bare life" as Giorgio Agamben has so aptly put it.

As I mentioned in a recent comment to MarekNYC's excellent diary on Holocaust Denial, Hitler made laws of exception a norm with the Enabling Act.

In a (permanent) state of exception zones are created for the "living dead," those same people described by Murrow in his broadcast. As Agamben puts it in his book Homo Sacer

Let's imagine, now, the inhabitant of the camp, in his most extreme representation. Primo Levi described him in camp jargon as "the Muslim", a being in whom humiliation, horror and fear had severed all consciousness and personality, to the point of absolute apathy... Not only was he excluded, like his companions, from the political and social context to which he once belonged. Not only, as Jewish life who did not deserve to live, was he destined to a future not far from death. Worse, he no longer in any way belonged to the world of men, not even the menaced and precarious world of the inhabitants of the camp, who had from the beginning forgotten him. Mute and absolutely alone, he had passed into another world, without memory or regret. Holderlin's assertion applies to him to the letter, "at the extreme limits of pain there exists nothing but the conditions of time and space."

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Jan 28th, 2006 at 05:57:42 PM EST
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I shall probably have to be very careful about how I phrase this but as part of some net searches on the Palestine elections I came over some information that led me to speculate. The reason I am wary is that it sounds like I might be saying the Jews are responsible for the deaths in the Holocaust, which I most certainly am not.

Could many of the Jewish deaths in the Nazi concentration camps have been averted if the World Jewish Congress had acted differently in 1905? That was the year they rejected a British offer of about 15,500 square kilometres for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Uganda. In the event the WJC held out for Israel and Jerusalem and refused the offer.

But what if they had taken up the deal? The German Jews would have had a land willing to accept all who could leave or were forced out. After all up almost to the outbreak of war, the deciding factor was whether another country was willing to accept them as immigrants. The USA effectively closed the door to new arrivals and the UK required that they get a sponsor so the would be "no burden". Some of you might have seen the film "The Voyage of the Damned" which explored this dilema.

Without the deaths in the Holocaust, the impetus to establish a "safe haven" would have been eliminated. Religious Jews will still have wanted to settle near the holy sites but the large numbers of mostly secular refugees would be living in the African homeland with their relatives whose pitiful belongings now remain in museums as mute but eloquent witness of human bestiality. A tanned Anne Frank might today be making a nostalgic visit to show her grandchildren round her birthplace.

Instead of being forced out of Palestine by a combination of violent muslim demonstrations and terrorist attacks from the Jewish Stern Gang, the British might have made an orderly hand-over to a predominantly muslim secular state. Surrounding muslim states would not have abandonded the traditional tolerance of their fellow "people of the book" and there would be thriving Jewish communities throughout the Middle East. The USA would not have the stigma of "The Great Satan" for their support of Israel. 9/11 would never have happened and Osama Bin Laden might be on the lecture circuit explaining to his adoring American public how he helped bring down the Soviet Union. Lebanon would be the exclusive holiday resort destination of the eastern Mediterrean and a more stable example of a secular multi-cultural but predominantly muslim country than Turkey. With all its traditional trading skills it would be the economic power house of the Middle East, its ports carrying the oil from the blossoming Iraqi oil fields.    

Of course their is the possibility that Idi Amin would have attacked the Homeland and expelled the Jews in the same way as the Ugandan Asians were. Would Britain have had to absorb perhaps millions of Homeland Jews rather than the thousands of Asians? Would there actually have been that many living there - after all the fear of returning to their original homelands from the temporary haven might well have been attractive after WWII. Would indeed WWII have happened if many of the European Jews had emigrated by the 1930s? Without the myth of a Jewish conspiracy would his hatred have resonated with the German people? Could ironically the decision of the WJC in 1905 have resulted in the rise of the Nazis? Probably not as the impetus to emigrate would have been caused by the oppressive laws.  

Jerusalem would be quite different. The area in front of the Western Wall would still be full of the shops and stalls cleared away after 1967. They would be run by muslims selling souvenirs to the Jewish pilgrims. Jewish tourists would be welcomed to casually visit the area on the top of the Temple mound, providing they were appropriately dressed.  A visit there by the Prime Minister of the African Homeland would be the excuse of much hospitality rather than the cause of the second Intifada.

Does the 1905 decision mean the Jews brought the Holocaust on themselves? Emphatically no. Would more have survived the Holocaust? Probably. Might the world be a lot more stable and peaceful than it is today? Possibly, but unfortunately we will never know.

by Londonbear on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 03:57:30 AM EST
I don't think there would have been significant immigration to Uganda had the WJC accepted the proposal.

Further, as far as the ideological foundation of Nazism goes, it would have made no difference. The very nature of national socialism implies the elimination of certain human groups.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 04:26:17 AM EST
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This from what I presume to be a  site  not hostile to Jews:

1922: Britain gives The World Zionist organization the mandate to administer Jewish immigration and settlement in Palestine. This immigration and settlement was funded by American Jews

This page  explains some of the problems of the accuracy of the figures but censuses in 1922 and 1931 show a more than doubling of the Jewish population of Palestine albeit from 84 to 175 thousands (round up slightly) Estimates for 1937 show a further doubling to 386k.

Of course these figures do not include those Jews who left continental Europe for Britain, the USA or other countries. Quite possibly they would have been refused entry and directed to Uganda - or rather "Israel in Africa" which would have been a separate state. The figures for Palestine do howver make my point that there was some emigration before the Nazis came to power but it vastly increased once they had.

Without the restrictions put on by the UK, US and other countries, more would have been able to leave for Africa than managed to get out before September 1939.  The industrialisation of death came fairly late, well into the war and with all the intelligence about the camps it might have been possible for the WJC to persude the Germans to see expulsion to Africa, under the neutral flag of say Spain or Portugal, as the "final solution".

Now the additional numbers surviving might not have been that great but as the saying goes, "he who saves one man saves the world".  

Part of the reason I raised this is that there seems to be a sort of common ground in that the WJC in 1905 and  Hamas today officially reject anything other than dominion over the land and holy sites and are/were unwilling to compromise their aspirations for shorter term solutions.  

by Londonbear on Mon Jan 30th, 2006 at 05:28:52 AM EST
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